Goodbye Little Friend

8 Jan

Our scruffy little cat, Ming the Merciless, had her final visit to the vet today. She’s been poorly for a while now and Husb had to make the decision to let her go.

We rescued Ming when she was just a tiny, starving scrap about 10 months old. She was extremely ill from neglect and after 4 nights at the vet’s hospital, touch and go, we brought her home and she promptly went to sleep stretched along Husb’s legs. We had three older cats and she was very scared and reacting aggressively with them but she obviously felt secure when she was with Husb. We had her for 17 years and up until quite recently she still cwtched up to him on the settee. They were pretty much inseparable and she brought so much fun into our house, it was worth all the effort to save her. Her illness left her with weak lungs and one eye and we were lucky to have her for so long.

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Ming the Merciless and Sparta Puss hanging out together

 

 

Kindness And Generosity

7 Jan

nativity

 

Last week I said about the charity collection box that was stolen from the nativity scene in front of the Unitarian Church on Swansea’s High Street. The church was raising money for a homelessness charity this year and has had a nativity in a large glass case every Christmas for decades, since I was a very small child. My Mam and Nana and aunties would take me, my little sister and cousins to see it and I remember being so excited, it brought it home to me that it was Christmas. Well, the church set up a crowdfunding appeal to replace the £200 or so that was lost and thanks to peoples’ kindness and generosity, has raised over six times that amount. Please click here if you’d like to donate.

I stopped by and scribbled, en plein air, one of the nativity figures in white, sanguine and black conté crayon into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. For many years, European art colleges taught partly through the copying of classical statues. I find it so difficult to copy another artist’s work and style, the urge to put my own stamp on it is too great, I’m afraid.

Bits Of Backs

6 Jan

liberal club 2

Husb and I went to a fab arty party last night, several artists shared a birthday and organised an evening of performance and goings on. It was lovely. Of course, I had to have a scribble, but I could only see people’s backs, but that’s ok. It’s all good practice.

And there’s some interesting things going on, wild hair, wacky tattoos and eyecatching boots. I scribbled into my tiny little Paper Blanks Ukiyo-e Kimono sketchbook with a biro (ballpoint) pen.

A Little Bit Of Kimono

5 Jan

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Here are a couple more heads I scribbled last night at the WAM (Words Art Music) monthly event at the excellent Workers Gallery in Ynyshir. I did my usual thing of being an art voyeur, scribbling people’s likenesses when they were absorbed in what was going on.

sketchbook

I am very fond of this tiny sketchbook, you can get an idea of its size from the pepper next to it. It’s by Paper Blanks, hardback with a fabric cover which is based on a Japanese Ukiyo-e kimono pattern and the whole thing is so beautifully made, with acid-free paper and a precisely folded paper pocket on the inside back cover. Ukiyo-e is a genre of woodblock prints dating back to the 1600s (the Edo period) and the word means “pictures of the floating world“.

WAM

4 Jan

Ynyshir 040118

It’s late and Husb and I are just back from a great evening at the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley. We went to the monthly WAM (Words, Art, Music) event which is held on the first Thursdays. Of course I had a scribble, catching the faces of people in the audience who were absorbed in the performances. I used a biro (ballpoint) pen into my small (A6) flowery hardback Paper Blanks sketchbook.

 

 

A Quick Digital Kitty

3 Jan

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I’m still stuck in that state of post holiday lethargy and to be honest didn’t fancy doing any drawing today but it’s important for my artistic practice that I do, so I took the easy way out and grabbed my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and did a quick digital sketch of Sparta Puss who is sparked out at my side. She’s even more lethargic than I am.

I use an app called Markers which is free to download and I drew it using a stylus – you get a different effect if you use your finger. I started by blocking out the background in black, then overlaid with white and tones of orange.

 

 

Folding And Creasing

3 Jan

origami 1

I spent a pleasant afternoon folding and creasing coloured papers, doing simple origami shapes. I work part time for a national charity that helps homeless people and we made a start today on an art project that’s going to grow over the next few weeks.  Watch this space 😀

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda: Happy New Year

31 Dec

dragons head 2

Here’s Worm’s Head on the Gower Peninsula, named from the Viking Wurme which means Dragon. So it’s Dragon’s Head which in Welsh is Penddraig. Anyway, I drew this yesterday during a very bracing walk on the cliffs at Rhossili, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I used black, sanguine and white conté crayon into an A4 brown paper sketchbook and worked very quickly because it was so windy and cold.

It’s the end of the old year and we’re nearly into 2018 so Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi, a Happy New Year to you xxxx 😀

Sofa To Sea…..

30 Dec

dragons head 1

Husb and I forced ourselves out of our comfort zone aka the settee and took off to the magnificent Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula for a brisk walk. It was bracing as we headed past the National Trust centre towards Worm’s Head which had been cut off by the ferocious sea this afternoon. I found a spot that wasn’t quite as windswept as everywhere else and did some drawing en plein air, using black, white and sanguine conté crayons into an A4 hard-backed, spiral-bound brown paper sketchbook. I did a quick impressionistic sketch, partly because it was not easy drawing in high winds, and also because I don’t like working naturalistically with land- and seascapes.

Lowest Of The Low

29 Dec

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There’s a little Unitarian Church at the bottom of Swansea’s High Street and every year since, well, at least since I was a kid, which is a long time, there has been a glass case with a nativity scene in it and a charity collection box every Christmas. This year, the church has been collecting to support homeless people but someone broke into the collection box and stole the donations. The lowest of the low! What an awful thing to do. They have set up a crowdfunding page to try and raise some money to cover the loss. If you can spare a little and want to donate, please follow the link here.

I stood outside the nativity scene on the street a couple of days ago and had a bit of a scribble on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a Markers app. Here’s Joseph. I find it odd drawing someone else’s art as I want to put my own stamp on it and it looks quite different to the original.

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